Friday, August 03, 2007

July 30, 2007 - Apataki to Rangiroa

We had such a wonderful time with Ah Samg's family that it was hard to leave. They are such genuinely welcoming and hospitable people. The other evening I was sitting with NiNi while a new boat came into the anchorage. She and Ah Samg were so excited. Who were they? Where were they from? Living on an isolated motu, 10 miles from the only village on the atoll, which is tiny, cruisers provide the family with an opportunity to meet new people. They really enjoy the interaction with cruisers. The next afternoon, Ah Samg commented with some disappointment that the people on the new boat had only been interested in business. They bought some pearls and left the next day. Our week here has been one of the highlights of our trip. We are both glad we had the time to get to know this place and these people.

The passage from Apataki to Rangiroa was short but uncomfortable. It started with an easy downwind sail in the flat water of the lagoon. Then we rode through the standing waves in the southern pass at Apataki, which is shaped like a dogleg. It was easily our hairiest pass run yet. The trip is only 90nM but you have to go through the passes and lagoons at both atolls in good light, so basically it is an overnight no matter how you look at it. We had to go slowly so as not to arrive too early at the Rangiroa pass. To slow us down, we had only the jib up, then kept furling in a bit more as the wind built through the night. Usually we use the main to keep us from rolling, but it would have been too much sail for this passage. With only a scrap of jib up, no main sail, and wind chop from the south east crossing swell from the south west we rolled all night long. Lets just say neither of us got much sleep last night.

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